However, they’ve always had lots of detractors along the way – mostly for events that were all self-inflicted. One example was the telemarketer scandal from a couple of years ago.
I’ve been using Netfleet since the beginning (that’s now a long time ago in internet terms), and I regularly talk to many domain investors on a daily and weekly basis. So I feel I’m qualified to make observations.
Before I list some “moans and groans”, I make one emphatic statement. I like Netfleet’s Business Manager Nikki Scholes – she is ethical, and as honest as the day is long. She has always gone out of her way to help me – and I know she does the same for others. I acknowledge that there are some of my peers that don’t share my opinion of her helpfulness! But I believe that comes down to simple human nature.
However, Nikki is almost in an impossible situation. She’s trying to keep the show on the road, but quite simply does not appear to have been given the resources and back-up to make this happen. She’s not a technical person – and nor is she expected to be. She needs help. Given that Netfleet is effectively 50% owned by the Lye brothers interests; and the other 50% is owned by Melbourne IT, you’d think that there would be plenty of help available.
But I know from speaking to senior Melbourne IT people that Netfleet is not a priority for them. And therein lies the problem in my opinion.
The unhappiness from regular customers has been mounting in recent months. These are the main issues:
♦ Customer support continues to lag. Some people get service quickly; others don’t.
♦ Daily auction results are abysmal. In the “old days”, you could count on the fact that 15 minutes after the drops, you would have a complete list of wins, losses and prices. Now you get “waiting for results”.
♦ Sometimes domains that are won on Netfleet don’t even appear on their list! Believe you me, this is very stressful. See yesterday’s details below.
♦ Domains that bidders win on the expired auctions aren’t actually guaranteed of ending up in their Netfleet accounts. This has to be fixed manually.
♦ Registrant contact email addresses (for regular customers) sometimes show as “firstname.lastname@example.org”. This makes it difficult to transfer domains out; or do COR’s.
♦ Daily “results” emails may as well not even be sent – they are generally incomplete.
♦ Last but not least is auction integrity itself. A number of people have once again reported that they have lost domains by a few bucks; or there has been an identical numerical bid (say two bidders both bidding $280, but they lose the domain because the other bidder supposedly got the same bid in some minutes earlier). I accept this could all be coincidental – but given past events, you can’t blame people for being suspicious! I know NF have telemarketers working again – so my question is, do they once again have access to the bids of other people? Who else apart from Nikki has access to the back-end?
What is alarming is that a number of domains were not shown on Netfleet’s list – even though they were won by Netfleet (or had bids)! I know this because I bid on some of them. Where is the transparency?
These were the names that didn’t appear (all won by Netfleet unless otherwise noted):
♦ cheapcarinsurance.com.au (this was a big sale price apparently)
♦ cocklebay.com.au – DomainShield
♦ smartcarfinance.com.au – Drop
♦ sunshinebeach.com.au – DomainShield
These were Netfleet’s declared results:
These technical issues must be fixed. Transparency must be returned to the platform.
What do you think?
Ned O’Meara – 23rd May 2017